Ahead of Saturday's game at St Mary's Stadium, we spoke again with Southampton fan Jack. He gives us his views on the Saints' season so far, Ronald Koeman, Shane Long, and more. You can follow Jack on twitter @_JackL_

After last season's impressive showing from the Saints, I'd imagine this campaign so far must have turned out something of a let-down for supporters? Any particular reason why you haven't hit the heights of last season?

It's been disappointing, yes. Losing yet more key players has eventually taken its toll. Unfortunately, you cannot keep selling your best players year after year and expect to keep improving. We signed decent replacements last year but this time around we signed players that *might* be good enough, rather than experienced heads.

Anything Ronald Koeman needs to do better?

Be more positive in the way he sets up the team. The squad might not be as strong in certain areas as last year or be playing with the same level of confidence but we can beat any side in the league on our day (as demonstrated against Arsenal). The extra defensive minded midfielder against Norwich and Palace has been too cautious in my opinion. To be fair to Koeman in reference to the Norwich game - he was put in a difficult situation with Mane turning up to the team meeting late.

Your take on the Sadio Mane situation? Is he likely to remain a Southampton player much longer?

Until the summer probably but almost certainly not beyond that. Manchester United have wanted him for over a year now and they’re crying out for a player with his strengths, especially in a  side managed by Van Gaal. I believe we need another player like him in the team at the moment because we lack creativity elsewhere so if he does go in the summer, we’ll need two replacements.

Are the club likely to be active during this month's transfer window? Do they need to be?

The whispers seem to be that if we are active, it will only be one player - a striker. The same names seem to crop up everyday in the papers - Charlie Austin being one many fans that sit near me every week would like to see. From what Koeman has told fans though, there’s doubts over his fitness due to a few knee injuries and the price tag is more than the club want to pay. Maybe the board need to realise that we’re going to have to more than £1million (Lambert) for a proven goalscorer this time.

Southampton player of the season so far?

Van Dijk has settled in well after his move from Celtic. Replacing Alderweireld was always going to be tough but the big Dutchman seems to be our most consistent defender this campaign. Plus he contributes goals at the other end too (when we do eventually get the delivery into the box right).

Anyone been particularly disappointing?

I don't like to single out individuals in an overall poor season but some of our key players from last year simply haven’t regained the form they seemed to lose as 2015 progressed. That includes Dusan Tadic who started like a house on fire but is currently playing as if he's got the weight of a house on his back. Victor Wanyama gets praise from opposition fans who all seem to want to sign him (*cough* Arsenal) but a lack of discipline teamed with a want-away attitude mean he's become a liability very fast.

How's former Baggie Shane Long done for you this season?

A mixed bag really. His showing against Arsenal was him at his best but he’s missed guilt edges chances in other games that have cost us dearly. I think he’s a better finisher when he has less time to think about the shot to be honest and an all round better player when he plays alongside another striker. He’s likely to miss out of the Watford and West Brom games though with Pelle's return to fitness.

Thoughts on Albion this season? Anything stand out from the first game between the sides back in September?

I don’t think anything stands out from that bore draw but overall West Brom are about where I would expect them to be. I wouldn't like Pulis managing at St Mary's because of the way he sets his teams up (and, well..…the Pompey connections) but it seems to almost guarantee Premier League safety and at a time when the TV money is set to skyrocket, that’s all that really matters to mid-to-bottom end Premier League teams.

How are the Saints likely to line-up on Saturday?

It’ll be 4-2-3-1 and assuming Fraser Forster will still not be fit enough to return:


----Martina---------Fonte--------Van Dijk---------Bertrand---




Thoughts and prediction for the game?

A tight affair but a nervy 1-0 win for Saints. Or 1-1.

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